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Coeur d' Alene Teachers OK New Contract

If Coeur d'Alene school trustees agree, teachers in the district will be working under a new contract - a compromise worked out with the help of a mediator - for the first time this year. Members of the teachers' union met Monday evening to ratify a new agreement which will be presented to the school board on Thursday.

The proposed compromise includes a one-half percent base salary hike, no increase in teachers' co-pay amounts for health insurance, and a slight increase in their families' health insurance premiums. Some Coeur d'Alene teachers will also be eligible for raises under an Idaho state plan.

Before talks began under the aegis of a federal mediator, the teachers' union last proposal had called for a nearly one percent base salary increase and no changes to the benefits package.

The school board had last offered no base salary increases, and trustees called for teachers to absorb some of a half million dollar hike in the overall insurance premium costs. Teachers would also have paid a higher percentage of family health insurance premiums.

Coeur d'Alene teachers have been working since the beginning of the school year without a contract. Negotiations stalled in late August when the more than 500 members of the teachers union balked at paying more for benefits without a pay hike.

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